A Critique Against William Bonnet’s Against Gay Marriage BY watktns746099 ” A Tradition of Change” Critique of: William Bennett, “Against Gay Marriage” Throughout the course of American history, every generation has built upon the foundations of freedom that were constructed by their ancestors before them. During the sass’s, women finally earned the right to vote, and in the sass’s, blacks finally gained their hard fought equality.
Our current generations task, is to strive to obtain equal rights for homosexuals so that our children and grandchildren can live n a world where they can feel free to express themselves without the fear of discrimination and hatred based chiefly on their biological predisposition to be attracted to the same gender, and so that our grandchildren will one day look at the argument against same sex marriage as we do misogyny and racism; an argument based upon ignorance, and fear.
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When woman were granted the right to vote, it did not alter the process of voting, and when blacks were recognized as equals, it did not threaten the equality of any other man, woman, or child. These rights awarded to omen and blacks simply gave them the privileges promised to them by our nation’s forefathers.
The gay community’s quest to gain these aforementioned privileges is currently being obstructed by conservative pundits who believe that the love between a man and another man, or a woman and another woman, is not adequate enough to be legally recognized, although heterosexual marriage is. William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan, author of several books that delve into the virtues and morals of Americans, and a former senior editor of the noncreative Journal, National Review, is one of those advocates against gay marriage.
In Bonnet’s opinion editorial which was published in the Washington Post entitled, “Against Gay Marriage”, he argues that legislation regarding the legalization of gay marriage should not be ratified because allowing marriage between homosexuals essentially destroys what he believes to be the most important social construct in our society, therefore leading to negative coloratura consequences.
Although Bennett does a good Job getting his message across, his argument is based on religious levels that have no place in a political discussion, is full of logical fallacies, and eludes to unnecessary stereotypes and biased assumptions, which therefore greatly weaken his overall claim. According to Bennett, legalizing gay marriage would be, “the most radical step ever taken in the deconstruction of society’s most important institution”. (Bennett 35). Bennett believes that allowing same sex marriage would ruin the sacredness of a traditional marriage.
Bennett insists that now allowing gay marriage isn’t an affront to homosexuals, but it is simply “an acknowledgment and celebration”, of what he lives to be society’s most important tradition. He argues that his view is one of should not be questioned. He also believes that same sex marriages are less faithful, and are differently constructed, and that they essentially ruin marriage itself. Bennett also warns that allowing gay marriage would make children think it is “cool” to become gay, and that it would negatively alter sex education in schools and adoption.
Bennett believes that heterosexual marriages and relationships should be viewed as superior, and fears that if gay marriage was allowed, it would alter the superiority employ. (Bennett 36). Although I strongly disagree with Bonnet’s article, he did adequately display his feelings and portray his ideas pertaining to the legalization of gay marriage. He is able to do this, through the use of strong language, and a negative tone, which enables him to exemplify how adamant he is on the subject.
Bennett leaves no doubt in the readers mind on what his viewpoint on this topic is when he called allowing same sex marriage to be the ” most radical step to deconstruction of society’s most important function”, then stated that he believed that it is something hat we should not go through with. Bennett exaggerates, and questions the reader, “On what grounds could the advocates of same-sex marriage oppose the marriage of two consenting brothers? “(Bennett 33). , in order to capture the reader’s attention, and to even further accentuate his belief that allowing gay marriage would destroy the institution of marriage itself.
Towards the end of the article, Bennett claims that recognizing marriage between gays would result in, “enormous repercussions”, which further elaborates on his disdain towards the idea of gay marriage. Although Bennett mess biased at times, he successfully outlines his ideas and how strongly he feels about them through the use of his negative tone, and strong wording. One of Bonnet’s major faults in his article is that his argument appears to be made primarily upon religious beliefs. Although he does not definitively state that it is against his religion, he does refer to it as an institution and a tradition.
He states that same sex marriage is practiced in every major religion, and the “wisdom and teaching of millennia”. (Bennett 34). His religious views obviously affect his political IEEE, which is morally wrong. Bennett views marriage as a religious institution, and believes that it is not for society to tamper with. Because the United States is a secular nation, religion should not play any role in a discussion about civil and societal laws. In order to legally marry there is not a requirement for a religious ceremony to be held.
Marriage is not a religious institution but an institution that is governed by the state. This is not something that can be argued, or debated as Bennett is suggesting. Bennett is essentially putting his beliefs above the law. Religious beliefs about marriage, or any issues, should never be brought up in a political debate. Simply because you believe one thing, does not mean that you can force others to believe the same. Perhaps Bonnet’s biggest shortcoming in this article is that his argument is littered in logical fallacies.
The first example of this is when; Bennett makes an outrageous exaggeration, when he says that recognizing same-sex marriage “would institution. Normally, such a profound statement is backed by some type of research, statistics, or some indication that this is true. However, this is merely Just his opinion. He gives no reason why he believes that marriage is our most important institution, nor does he fully explain how it would be the most radical step in deconstruction of society. He is simply Just over exaggerating to get his point across.
Perhaps Bonnet’s because failure in logic is when he questions, “On what principled grounds could the advocates of same sex marriage oppose the marriage of two consenting brothers? ” (Bennett 34). Bennett believes that if we allow gay marriage, that we must also morally allow incest. By referring to this hypothetical case of incest between two nonsexual brothers, Bennett commits the “straw man fallacy. He creates the illusion that he actually refutes gay marriage by replacing it with a superficial similar yet unequal proposition, which essentially leaves the original problem unanswered.
This question doesn’t aid in his debate against gay marriage, it Just makes Bennett look afraid to tackle the issue head on, with actual logic, statistics, and reasoning. If we are to apply the same logic as Bennett, one could also refute his statements with, “What if a brother and sister want to get married? Same sex marriage is legal, isn’t it? The issue is whether gays should be allowed to married, not whether or not siblings should be allowed, which is a completely different debate itself. In addition, who else has ever seen such an extreme example?
If somehow Bennett was able to allude to a situation where two brothers actually wanted to get married in a state that allowed same sex marriage, his argument may have had some grounds. However, he fails to do so, and this hypothetical question regarding incest, greatly damages the validity behind his argument. Another fallacy of Bonnet’s is that he insists that we uphold he tradition of marriage that is present in the “wisdom of millennia” (Bennett 34). The traditional marriage arrangement that we have grown accustomed to today has not always been the status quo.
In fact, marriage the way we view it today, is a relatively new phenomena which can trace its roots to the sass’s. Marriage traditions vary greatly by time and culture, and have been constantly redefined in order to adjust to socioeconomic changes amongst society. Arranged marriage, forced marriage, and dowry were all common at their own respected times t, but are mostly unheard of now, for good reasons. In the Middle Ages, a marriage was simply a business transaction between families. The couple was bound together as children, and later, the bride was exchanged for money or goods.
These ceremonies weren’t performed in churches, and monogamy on the part of the groom was almost unheard of. Consent wasn’t even required until the 12th Century! The modern marriage ceremony which Bennett alludes to, with its traditions of fidelity, shared property and equality, is almost entirely a new creation. Even this new creation has seen its fair share of changes in its short lifespan. In the 19th century, when “traditional” reggae began to become more commonplace, interracial and interfaith marriages were almost unheard of, if not illegal.
But, overtime, the rules of marriage have bent to allow those of different races and religions to wed. Bonnet’s argument concerning the tradition of marriage fails because he does not acknowledge that we have adjusted the definition of marriage in the past in order to adapt to societal changes. If it was not for adjusting or changing the tradition of marriage, Bennett would not be Bennett not only completely invalidates his claim with the use of several stereotypes, UT he also is very offensive.
Bennett argues that if we “accommodate the less restrained sexual practices of homosexuals, Sullivan and his allies destroy the very thing that supposedly has drawn them to marriage in the first place”. This statement is not only and unfair stereotype, but also ironic. Bennett states that homosexuals practice less restrained sexual practices, as though it is a fact. This argument has absolutely no backing, besides Bonnet’s preconceived notions regarding the sexual practices of homosexuals.
To lump all homosexuals into a group, and define them by he behavior of Just a select few, then to say that they should not allowed to be married because of this, is discrimination at its best. It is also ironic, because the divorce rate amongst heterosexuals is hovering around an unprecedented 50 percent. That fact alone makes any argument pertaining to fidelity null and void. Bennett also makes the gross assumption that heterosexual parents and relationships are superior to those of homosexuals. However, Bennett does not provide any sound proof or evidence to back this assumption, he Just offers up how he personally feels.
A debate about any Civil Right should not be debated against simply because something makes you uncomfortable. Over the past 100 years, America has forgone the greatest social revolution in modern history. We have gone from a time where blacks and whites were separated in schools, and women were not allowed to vote, to a time where our president is black, and we have female politicians held at high esteem. Our generations current task, is to go from a time where gays could not marry do to outdated legislation, to a time where anyone can marry if they please. According to William J.
Bennett, gay marriage destroys the fabric of heterosexual marriage. Bennett successfully portrays his message, and he loves no doubt whatsoever in the readers mind on what his view is pertaining to gay marriage. However, Bonnet’s argument is based on religious beliefs. In the United States we strive to uphold a “separation between church and state”, and Bennett fails to oblige. Bonnet’s arguments are also constructed around false logic, and preconceived notions regarding marriage that are not entirely true, and he eludes to several stereotypes, which are very insulting and unnecessary.